A Reminder to Drive Safe Around School Buses


Dominic Fox

School bus arriving in the morning (Provided by Domonic Fox)

by Hailey Hansen, Reporter

On Sept. 29, 2022, at 4:09 p.m. there was a car crash incident between a truck and a South Kitsap school bus, as reported by Kitsap Daily News. The collision happened on Sidney Road SW and SW Spruce Road, it left the truck driver; 72-year old Steven J. Deluca dead, and the bus driver with a few minor injuries.

Deluca was driving westbound on Spruce in his Toyota Tacoma, when he failed to stop at the stop sign. After running the stop sign the bus driving northbound drove directly into the driver’s side. After the crash, investigators informed the fire department and called them to the intersection. The cause of death was multiple blunt force injuries. The driver of the school bus was treated for their injuries at the site of the incident and dismissed afterwards. The crash was investigated by local sheriffs, all of the Kitsap municipal agencies and a new Multi-Agency Traffic Investigation unit.

The first few students on the bus (Hailey Hansen)

Luckily there were no children on the bus during the accident, but, this case brings up a lot of awareness and, an overall reminder to really think and pay attention when driving near or around school buses.

“The red light runners when our stop sign goes out, because that’s when we’re picking up students so at that time it’s the most dangerous, said Mike Avery, bus driver.

School bus drivers have a huge responsibility. They have to keep many students safe, while keeping a schedule and some of the time students are actively distracting the drivers. A large school bus can hold up to 70 children.

Students sitting down ready to go home.
Students sitting down ready to go home (Hailey Hansen)

“I’ve got a stop where kids that cross, kids that walk down, kids walk up,” said Shelly Schenk. “I have these kids chattering away at me and i’m trying to pay attention to all these groups of kids and the oncoming traffic.”

There are so many people who don’t think about how much time and effort these bus drivers put into keeping students safe and making sure they get home on time. On average bus drivers drive students 5-6 hours a day.

Jeremiah Baird, a Central Kitsap Bus Driver said, “People do not realize, that we are actually hauling students. They don’t realize that we are hauling and we are transporting their children and grandchildren. They just have no idea exactly what we’re doing.”

When people are driving recklessly around school buses they don’t understand that sometimes students aren’t paying attention either. Some studies show that as many as 40 students are hit by a vehicle while walking each day.

Sonia Malloy said, “I’ve had to do my air horn before, because I let them out and I see someone coming around the corner and the kids are on their phones crossing the street.”